Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, one of the nation’s most influential religious leaders, offers the first theology of the American Descendants of Slavery movement by exploring the stories of biblical leaders such as Nehemiah, Solomon, and Daniel.
Too often, all oppressed people in America are lumped together under the moniker "people of color," as if each group's experience under the yoke of systemic racism has the same economic and social repercussions. But the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) hold a unique claim to economic and reparative justice: for ADOS, after all, is the only group whose ancestors were forcibly brought to America, enslaved, built much of the wealth of the country, yet continue to be specifically excluded from the same social, political, and economic rights of other Americans. To that end, Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby lays out the first theology of the ADOS movement, turning the traditional lens of Black liberation theology from Moses leading escaped Hebrew slaves in Exodus to other biblical leaders like Solomon, Daniel, and Nehemiah. A Jew born in exile, Nehemiah landed a somewhat privileged position in the Persian king's court. After learning about his people’s dire situation in Jerusalem, Nehemiah wept and was moved to lead efforts to rebuild the wall around the city with money (reparations) obtained from the imperial government.
In the stories of Nehemiah and other biblical leaders, Cosby finds inspiration on how to rebuild Black America including the necessity of government reparations for ADOS. Cosby calls all Americans to move from a place of relative nonengagement and detachment to a place of active support of ADOS’s efforts for justice and healing.
A Note From the Publisher
“Dr. Cosby’s fundamental work is lighting a path for pastors, activists, and community members who are committed to an interpretation of Scripture that specifically defines our predicament as a tyrannized group and daringly confronts our oppressors.”
—Yvette Carnell, cofounder of the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) movement, founder and host of Breaking Brown YouTube channel, and former congressional aide to Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Marion Berry
“Dr. Cosby takes the foundational elements of ADOS concepts and weaves in theology with unique and daring perspective. Reading Getting to the Promised Land definitely pushes us forward on the road to reparative justice.”
—Antonio Moore, cofounder of the ADOS movement, an attorney in Los Angeles, producer of the Emmy-nominated documentary Crack in the System, and host of the weekly radio show Tonetalks
“This is a brilliantly thoughtful, novel approach to the reparations debate that should be required reading for everyone with even a minimal investment in the reparations debate. Kudos to Kevin Cosby for this timely, crucial intervention.”
—Obery Hendricks, Professor of Religion and African American and Afro-Diasporic Studies, Columbia University; and author of Christians against Christianity: How Right-Wing Evangelicals Are Destroying Our Nation and Our Faith
“This hard-hitting book is a welcome continuation of our education in the truth of our common history and is an urgent read for all those who care about the future of our society. I am glad to commend the book and its courageous author.”
—Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary; an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ; and author of dozens of books, including Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now and Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out
“As foundational truths about our country’s historical trajectory of enslavement and dehumanization of African Americans are trying to be replaced with ‘alternative facts,’ Dr. Cosby calls us to reorient our moral, ethical, and theological compass toward the distinct experience of descendants of slaves.”
—Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana; and author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community
“Getting to the Promised Land gives powerful thought to the search for a new strategic vision for Black liberation and to the national debate over reparations. Dr. Cosby… deftly employs the less-known life of the Hebrew prophet Nehemiah to animate the author’s own vision of liberation and reparations and to empower the movement he helped create to further his vision.”
—Stewart Burns, Professor of Ethical & Creative Leadership and of Martin Luther King Studies at Union Institute & University and author of the Wilbur Award-winning biography of Martin Luther King, To the Mountaintop
“Dr. Kevin Cosby has masterfully reimagined theology by intentionally focusing on the experiences of ADOS. His book is a much-needed wake-up call for everyone but especially for followers of Jesus committed to Black liberation and reparations for ADOS.”
—Wendell Griffen, Pastor, New Millennium Church, Little Rock, Arkansas; an Arkansas trial judge; a consultant in cultural competency and inclusion; and author of The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope
“Dr. Kevin Cosby’s book is the clearest articulation and the most compelling argument, from a Christian perspective, of the nature of the ADOS movement and its legitimate claim for equity and reparations.”
—F. Bruce Williams, Senior Pastor, Bates Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky
“This book will challenge many to rethink what the next steps must look like in rebuilding Black institutions and communities.”
—Cynthia M. Campbell, President emerita, McCormick Theological Seminary; and retired Pastor, Highland Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
“Cosby provides keen insight and a spiritual, social, and moral challenge to face with integrity the ongoing struggle for social justice and empowerment of the Black community. His argument for reparations gives clarity that Black people are not beggars but builders who make their claim for equal access to the resources that make for a usable future.”
—Walter Malone Jr., Pastor and Founder, Canaan Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
• Targeted outreach to relevant audiences including Black pastors, academics, and seminarians; white pastors, academics, and seminarians; HBCUs; secular persons who believe in the ADOS movement; and local connections to racial justice groups in Louisville, Kentucky.
• Promotion on Netgalley and LibraryThing giveaway.
• Author speaking events and book signings.
• National print and web advertising.
• Interview with Yvette Carnell, cofounder of the ADOS movement, on her BreakingBrown YouTube channel.
• Targeted publicity to mainstream and Christian media across TV, print, online, radio, and podcasts.
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